Whilst other methods of tattoo removal exist, they are either not very effective e.g. tattoo fading creams, or can leave scarring e.g. dermabrasion, cryosurgery or excision.
Laser Tattoo Removal
Laser Tattoo Removal from £49*
**Laser tattoo removal is available at Transform Health and Beauty Clinic, Horsham**
Are you bored with your tattoos? Do you wish you hadn’t made the decision to permanently mark your body? We have the solution to your problems right here!
Laser tattoo removal is simple, safe, and produces fantastic results. The advanced technology works by allowing the light produced by the laser to pass through the skin and break up the tattoo ink into tiny particles. The body then disposes of these fragments via its immune system. It usually takes several treatment sessions to ensure success, with regular intervals between sessions
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Frequently Asked Questions
When light hits an object some of that light from certain wavelengths will be absorbed by the object, some might pass through the object and other wavelengths will be reflected. It is the wavelength of light that is reflected that determines what colour we see the object as having – i.e. a blue ink is ‘blue’ because it reflects light with a blue wavelength most effectively and absorbs other colours/wavelengths such as green or red. The light absorbed by the object puts energy into the object which is most often released again as heat. In laser tattoo removal the ink particles are subjected to very short (e.g. nanosecond) bursts of very high energy light. The ‘optically dense’ ink particles absorb this light very effectively but because it is such a large amount of energy in such a short period they can’t get rid of the energy as heat fast enough and instead ‘shatter’. The fragments of ink are then small enough to be removed by the body’s own white blood cells.
Most of the cells in our skin don’t absorb the laser light as effectively and therefore don’t have to cope with this sudden influx of energy. The only thing that is naturally like ink in the skin is Melanin. Melanin is the natural pigment in the skin which determines how dark or pale our skin is. When you get a tan it is because your skin produces more melanin molecules as a defence against sun exposure. These molecules can also be destroyed by laser light.
The lighter the colour, the more difficult it is to treat because it’s more difficult to get the ink particles to absorb energy. In particular white ink will reflect all wavelengths of light. Turquoise and bright blues are similarly difficult to treat. They are sometime reduced however as a ‘bystander effect’ of treating a darker colour that is right next to it. Luckily these very light colours often become dramatically less noticeable once other darker colours in the tattoo are removed. Most colours can be removed with laser tattoo removal. Black, dark blue and red tattoos respond really well to laser removal. More difficult tattoo colours to remove are white, yellow, purple and pink, but are easier to cover up. Green is probably the most difficult tattoo colour to remove. Transform Health and Beauty Clinic use an advanced laser that is good for most colours giving you the best results possible.
After your consultation we will start each session by checking there has not been a change to your medical status and reviewing the results of the last treatment. We can then discuss the plan for further treatment. Individual treatment sessions are quick as the laser can fire at up to 10 times a second and the area of tattoo can often be covered in a matter of minutes. We can adjust the speed to suit you; some people like to go as fast as possible and some people like it a bit slower.
If your tattoo contains colours which require different lasers then this switch over only takes a few seconds.
A small to medium tattoo will be typically given a 15 minute slot of which the actual lasering time will often only be one or two minutes. Larger tattoos will be treated in sections e.g. a full back might be treated in quarters. A given quarter would typically then be given 6 weeks to recover before the next treatment session but you could come back next week and get the next quarter done and so on.
Sometimes yes, but not everything can be covered well. If you only want to fade a tattoo ready for a new tattoo cover-up, you may need just 2-3 sessions over say 2-3 months, depending on what you want to cover it with. A new light-coloured tattoo will need more of the old tattoo removing than if you plan a new dark tattoo to cover the old one. Some tattoos require a little help from the laser in preparation for cover-up, with a far superior result. A cover-up tattoo should always look good in its own right. Beware of promises to “cover it with black”. You may end up with a worse tattoo than the original. Even the best cover-ups are rarely 100% effective. If the original tattoo was very dark and strong it may seep back through in time.
Each time your tattoo is treated a proportion of the remaining ink will be broken down by the laser and the tattoo will steadily fade away. The amount of ink broken down each time, and therefore how quickly the tattoo fades, will depend on a number of factors. These factors include;
Colour and type of ink: Black is often easiest and lighter colours hardest because black absorbs most light and lighter colours reflect the most light. Inks, however, differ in what they are made of and some ink respond more quickly than others.
Amateur vs Professional tattoo: Amateur tattoos are often shallower and contain less ink than modern professional tattoos. The shallower and lighter the tattoo, the quicker it is to remove. If the tattoo has been done with substances other than ink then it may be impossible to remove with laser.
Position on the body: Areas of the body with a better blood supply appear to get rid of the broken down ink more efficiently.
As a result of these factors, it is hard to determine a guaranteed number of treatments. An example would be if you have an amateur tattoo with only black ink then you may only need 1-3 treatments. If you have a professional, coloured tattoo then it is likely you’ll need 8-12 or more sessions, again depending on the exact colours in the tattoo. We will give you our best estimation when you have your initial consultation.
The right equipment in the right hands makes laser treatment very safe but just like everything in life there are some risks. The risks are generally rare or else we wouldn’t be doing the treatment! This is one reason why patch testing (trying the laser on a small part of the tattoo) when you have your initial assessment is so important.
Skin colour change: Laser treatment affects the natural pigment molecules (called melanin) in the skin and can sometimes cause a lightening effect (hypopigmentation) on the area of skin treated. This is rarely permanent. More common is a slight temporary darkening of the skin following treatment. Again this is usually temporary but rarely either effect can be permanent.
Tattoo colour change: Occasionally the pigments used in the tattoo, particularly iron oxides which are used in red, pink and white may actually darken when hit with the laser. This darkening may be removed by more laser treatment or it may be permanent.
Scarring: On a microscopic level the laser does cause temporary damage to the skin. The body repairs this damage as it would any skin injury. Occasionally it will repair this damage with more scar tissue than normal and there may be some minor textural changes to the skin or more rarely visual scarring. If there is already scarring within the tattoo the laser treatment will not remove this but will remove the tattoo ink. Very rarely the body may react to any skin injury by producing a much thicker, bulkier scar tissue called a hypertrophic scar or even a scar known as a keloid scar. If you have had this response before you may be at greater risk of further keloid scar formation and should think very carefully about having any laser treatment.
Infection: Infection is highly unlikely if you’ve kept the area clean and dry afterwards but if you feel your skin in the few days post treatment is getting redder or hotter or more sore then you may have an infection. We can’t prescribe for you but we can help assess if it is an infection or just inflammation and you should contact your GP.
You can apply a cool pack to the skin in between bursts of the laser if you like but for most people find the treatment is so quick it’s not worth it.
For a few minutes immediately after treatment your skin will have a blistered, white look. This calms down within minutes and your skin will look and feel as if it is sunburnt afterwards. As with sunburn it will settle over a couple of days. Small blisters are quite common and as with all blisters these should be left alone and NOT popped or de-roofed. You can help with any discomfort by applying some quality skin ointment and taking some simple painkillers like paracetamol or Ibuprofen. Very occasionally you might get some pinpoint bleeding from individual laser shots. We would apply a light dressing if required. You will be given a more detailed after care sheet following your treatment.
Yes, as long as you can keep the treated area clean and dry and out of the sun.
It feels like an elastic band being twanged against the skin. So whilst not painless, it’s quicker than getting a new tattoo, and the discomfort is probably no more than you experienced when you initially got the tattoo. Discomfort can be reduced by applying anaesthetic cream beforehand and ice packs during treatment.
Yes. During laser tattoo removal the laser operates in short, fraction of a second bursts, targeted only at your tattoo. It does not affect surrounding skin.
No. Laser tattoo removal should not scar you. Instead of forcing ink out through the skin, it breaks it down so your immune system can attack and pull it out through your lymphatic system.
No. We use only the latest, most advanced lasers that are much gentler and pass freely through skin without burning.
Laser tattoo removal requires an initial consultation with questions on your general health and any medication you take. If you are fit and healthy and follow recommended aftercare you should be fine.
TBG offers an affordable laser tattoo removal service with prices based on the size of tattoo to be removed. As a guide, a single session for a small tattoo would cost around £50, regardless of the colour or density of ink involved. Several sessions are likely to be required and discounts are available if you book a course of treatments.
Dermabrasion, as its name suggests, is an invasive procedure. It literally abrades the skin – a bit like using a Black & Decker Sander to remove your tattoo! With dermabrasion tattoo removal, several layers of skin are also removed, deep enough to remove the tattoo. This includes the dermis, which does not renew itself, so making scarring more likely. So beware, tattoo dermabrasion can damage the dermis!
Effective tattoo removal creams contain an active ingredient (chemical / acid) strong enough to break down the ink. The problem is the active ingredient can damage the skin. So beware of scarring and burns from the use of tattoo removal creams.
We always recommend you wait till at least 6 weeks after the tattoo has been put on before starting to remove it. This allows the skin to recover from the physical trauma of the tattooing process itself. After that we can start to treat. There is a theoretical benefit to early treatment in that less of the ink will have been wrapped up in fibrin – the protein used by the body to wrap up things it doesn’t like but can’t actually remove. Ink also drifts deeper into the skin with time where it is more difficult to reach with laser. So again there is an advantage starting treatment as early as you can once you have decided to remove your tattoo.
Unfortunately permanent make up inks can sometimes react to laser by going significantly darker, meaning your brown eyebrow can go black instead of disappearing. They may also spread after laser treatment meaning your eyebrow or lip liner becomes smudged looking. For that reason we strongly advise you not to laser your permanent make up or at least to find out a lot about the ink used before attempting even a patch test.
These skin types can be treated (very carefully) by lasers.
We will give you exact details about how to prepare your skin when you have your initial consultation but there is something you can do today – apply sunblock to the tattooed skin. Reducing any tanning of the skin (real or fake) back to your natural skin colour is a very important part of your treatment. In general if you want to keep your tattoo ‘shiny new’ looking then you should be keeping it out of the sun or using sunblock whenever possible otherwise sunlight will fade and blur the tattoo over time.